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Tanzanians on cyclone alert

The US has warned its citizens in Tanzania to be on alert as a rare tropical cyclone is approaching the country’s coastal belt of Lindi and Mtwara regions and could become the first cyclone to make a landfall in the nation in modern records.

According to the alert, the tropical cyclone called Jobo may cause strong winds and waves.

Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) in a statement on Thursday also confirmed that the cyclone, which has appeared in the Indian Ocean, is currently in Madagascar heading north.

The statement said the tropical cyclone could make landfall over the northeastern coast of Lindi region on Sunday, April 25.

“The presence of tropical cyclone may impact our weather systems by influencing strong winds and large waves,” part of the statement read.

TMA said it will continue monitoring the progress of the tropical cyclone and other weather systems associated with it which may change the strength, speed and direction of the cyclone.

The statement further said TMA will also continue updating the public on the progress of the tropical cyclone and advise accordingly.

According to CNN, although Jobo is churning over the very warm waters (29°C), other environmental conditions should hinder any further development, weakening the storm prior to making landfall late this weekend.

“However, the rarity of a tropical system affecting Tanzania is worth noting.

Landfalling cyclones are almost unheard of in Tanzania due to its close proximity to the equator, where the Coriolis force — what causes the storm to rotate — is weaker,” it added

Tanzania’s largest city and its former capital, Dar es Salaam, is home to over 6 million people and the fifth largest on the continent.

The official forecast track by the JTWC does include both cities Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar to potentially be in the path of Jobo.

Given its tropical location, rainfall is plentiful in this part of the world and April is climatologically the wettest month of the year.